General Purpose Computer System


The use of computers in our society

Computers are basically used to make our life easier. What do I mean by that? Computers are used to store large volumes of data (e.g. in companies, school or university library, school to store students’ records), manage financial records (e.g. banks, insurance companies, payroll department and accounting departments), track purchases and sales (e.g. supermarkets, pharmacies, stores), access information from the Internet(e.g. researching for school based assignment and for general knowledge), communicate with family and friends ( e.g. Face book chat, Instant Messengers –MSN, Yahoo & Hotmail, Skype), monitor devices & machines ( e.g. In a Chemical Plant, Manufacturing Plant) and to earn a living (e.g. to provide online services such as shopping online).
Computers are widely used because of their ability to process large volumes of data in a relatively short time with 100% accuracy consistently and store that information for future use. Figure 1 is showing a diagram of a basic computer system.

A Computer versus a Computer System

A COMPUTER is an electronic device that accepts data (input), manipulates data (processing), holds processed data (storage) and display a result or information (output).

A COMPUTER SYSTEM refers to all the hardware and software working together to process data.

 Basic Functions of a Computer 

Every computer system was designed to perform the following basic functions:



Exercise 1


What is a computer?(2 marks)
Identify the four basic functions of a computer system.(4 marks)
Explain why the use of computers is becoming so popular.(2 marks)




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